Forestry Department pays tribute to former boss Roy Jones
The Forestry Department has paid tribute to Roy Jones, the former conservator of forests, and before that, deputy director, and director of the Department of Forestry and Soil Conservation in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
In a blog on its website last week, the Forestry Department said that Jones would be difficult to replace, adding that his contribution to forestry in Jamaica was deserving of the highest accolade.
Jones, who leaves to mourn widow Ena, two sons, and a host of family and friends, died at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) on December 9, following a brief illness. He was 86. He underwent a surgical procedure at University Hospital of the West Indies in late November. Jones died of hospital-acquired pneumonia after an emergency visit to KPH.
A service of thanksgiving for his life will be held at Mamby Park Baptist Church, Constant Spring Road, St Andrew, on Saturday, January 13, 2024, beginning at 11.
The tribute stated:
“The Forestry Department is saddened to learn of the passing of retired conservator of forests (1982-1996), Roy Jones.
“Mr Jones, a luminary figure, etched an indelible mark upon the annals of our organisation’s history. His passing leaves an irreplaceable void in our hearts and the world of forestry. The Forestry Department bows its collective head in solemn reverence in loving tribute to the memory of Roy Jones.
“During his tenure, Mr Jones led our [then] department with unparalleled dedication and vision. His foresight led to a profound reorganisation and restructuring, fortifying the foundation upon which our now executive agency stands.
“One of his most enduring legacies lies in the crafting and executing of the National Forestry Action Plan, a seminal moment that heralded a new epoch in the realm of local forestry. His leadership charted a course toward sustainable development, marking a pivotal juncture in our pursuit of responsible forest management.
“Mr Jones’ unwavering commitment was further manifested in the overhaul of the archaic Forest Act of 1937, which led to its replacement with the present-day Forest Act of 1996. This legislation remains the cornerstone, endowing the agency with the authority and direction essential for steering the local forest sector toward a path of conscientious stewardship, sustainable forest management and economic prosperity.
“Even in retirement, Mr Jones remained an ardent advocate for Jamaica’s forests. His dedication continued unabated as he imparted wisdom to future generations, sharing his knowledge with students at the College of Agriculture, Science, and Education (CASE), nurturing minds to embrace the essence of agroforestry.
“His passion for the preservation and sustainable utilisation of forests reverberates within our hearts. The legacy he leaves behind serves as an enduring beacon, inspiring us to tread the path he illuminated. As we mourn the loss of an exceptional leader, we honour Roy Jones’ life, his invaluable contributions, and the profound impact he made on the forestry landscape. The agency extends heartfelt condolence to his family and friends. May his legacy endure, blossoming in the flourishing canopies and verdant landscapes he ardently championed.”